31034_LordCommanderStryker_WEB.jpgLord Commander Stryker - Cygnar Epic Warcaster

His battles are informed by the knowledge that the survival of his nation relies on his strength. His deeds have become legendary: those who confront him in battle know true fear,
for he is the man who toppled the high priest of the Creator and emerged stronger than before.

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Basic Info


Statistics

See also Interpreting the Statblock
SPD
Average
MAT
High
RAT
High
DEF
Very High
ARM
Average
CMD
Superb
FOCUS
Average
Hitpoints
Average
Warjack Points
Average
Base Size
Small

Feat - Rolling Thunder

After every friendly model has completed its activation this turn, friendly faction models in Stryker2's control area may advance 3" and make a normal melee attack.

Weapons and Attacks

  • Quicksilver Mk. II - An all-around improvement from his original Quicksilver with higher POW.
    • Magical Weapon - This weapon can damage incorporeal models.
    • Reach - This weapon has increased melee range.
    • Disruption - A warjack hit by this weapon immediately loses all focus points allocated to it, and cannot be allocated focus or channel spells for one round.
  • Magnum - Yet another improvement from the original, with a ROF increase and higher POW.
    • Magical Weapon - As above
    • Disruption - As above

Special Abilities

  • Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome.
  • Immunity: Electricity - This model does not suffer damage from Electricity-type effects.
  • Elite Cadre [Stormblade Infantry] - Stormblade Infantry units gain Advance Move (Models get a free move after deployment but before the game begins)
  • Overload - Once per activation, roll up to three dice and add the result to Stryker2's STR. Then roll the same number of dice and the result will be inflicted on him as damage. Cross your fingers and hope you roll high on the first roll and low on the second!
  • Warjack Bond - Stryker may bond up to one warjack every single game. The bonded 'jack's focus allocation limit is increased to four, and it gains an additional die on its first melee attack roll during its activation each turn.

Spells

  • Deflection - Friendly faction warrior models gain an ARM buff against ranged and magic attacks while within the caster's control area. Spell lasts for one round.
  • Lightning Storm - Mid-low range spell with a small AOE that does low POW electrical damage to all models hit. Also, the AOE stays in play and does damage to models that walk into it or stay in it.
  • Positive Charge - A low cost spell that gives target friendly faction warjack, and any friendly faction models within 3" of it, a bonus to melee attack and damage rolls.
  • Rebuke - An offensive spell that prevents target enemy model/unit from giving/receiving orders and making special attacks for one round.
  • Velocity - The caster can spend up to three points of focus and advances up to 2" for each point spent.



Thoughts on Lord Commander Stryker


Lord Commander Stryker in a Nutshell

Stryker2 has average hitpoints but has among the highest total of DEF and ARM in the game - although being balanced rather than skew he's not as tough as either Terminus or Butcher2 (who have average DEF and very high ARM). Also warlocks with similar stats are relatively tougher due to transfers. Certainly tough enough to be right there in the second wave.

Stryker2 is a bit of an odd warcaster, but a very powerful one. He plays absolutely nothing like his Prime counterpart, and is extremely competitive in the right hands. His gameplan is fairly flexible: from being able to alphastrike an enemy army to win through attrition or even pull off an assassination run from 17” unaided! He's a blast to play but a bit difficult to start out with, so bear with him for a few games.

Stryker 2 is an aggressive warcaster, able to support his in-faction army or to launch a scary personal assassination (if he doesn't blow himself up in the process) and destroy even the toughest models. He can make his troops hit harder, protect them from ranged and magic attacks, and prevent the enemy charging. And as a finisher he has a good assassination run.

Stryker2 is a tricky 'caster to learn, and this Thoughts section is therefore concomitantly lengthy. However, he's good enough to be considered one of Cygnar's top four. If you want to play Cygnar's melee monster warcaster, it's likely worth reading all of this advice. Happy hunting!

Stryker2 plays far differently from any other Cygnar 'caster, offering moderately direct buffs to melee troops instead of ranged troops and with a feat aimed squarely at melee models. He's a lot of fun to play in that you can play attrition or assassination with him, and he has a fairly versatile spell list to boot. He's not an easy 'caster to learn, but he's probably our fourth best and very, very competitive. Just try not to roll higher than 16 on your Overload damage!

Overload means he hits terrifyingly hard in melee one turn - even The Butcher Unleashed can't match that. 2d6 makes him hit harder than the Butcher (although with lower MAT and no Flashing Blade) although 3d6 can potentially allow you to one-shot just about any warcaster on the charge this side of Karchev! At full health you're risking a 2% chance of you killing yourself (although it feels much more than that).
  • Warjack Bond: This could have been made to be used with Ol' Rowdy. Either that free charge will land, or you take it on the Tremor attack and get a 4d6 Tremor to knock down everything that isn't knockdown immune. It's not bad on the Stormclad either.

Thoughts on when & how to use his feat and spells

Feat
His feat is interesting because it doesn't help him assassinate all that well. Rather, it serves as a tool of attrition to help either get the first strike or weed out stragglers. There will be games where you can pull off the assassination run without using the feat, and others where you'll simply sit back and buff your army, using the feat to steamroll the enemy. Don't be afraid to pop it early to strike a decisive blow at your opponent; a 13.5” threat on Stormblades or a 15.5” threat on Precursor Knights is quite handy. Stryker2 and his warjacks can use focus to boost their own attacks; on an assassination run against a high DEF target it is often advisable to save one focus for boosting the feat attack roll rather than buying another Overload-boosted attack.

Remember that only abilities that last a turn or a round will apply during the feat attacks; buffs that only last "during activation" will not. This means that models will benefit from Positive Charge, but not Overload or the Precursor Knight UA's minifeat.

One of the biggest questions that newer Stryker2 players have is when to use his peculiar feat.

Consider using the feat if and ONLY if the consequences of moving everything in Stryker2's control range 3" are better than remaining where you are. Moving 3" toward an enemy model will either:
  1. Bring you into your target's charge range (very bad ... so go in the other direction!)
  2. Bring you closer to them but otherwise change nothing for better or worse (bad because it's a wasted feat)
  3. Bring you really close to the enemy, a good bit less than 3", such that they cannot charge far enough to get the charge bonus (good)
  4. Get your models close enough to hit the enemy with the free attack (great!).

With #3, remember that at somewhere between about 2" to 3" away your opponent can still charge 'past' you on funny angles to get the 3" charge move and earn the boosted damage. So it's better to shrink that distance as much or possible, or wedge models together so fewer 'funny angles' exist. Robbing your enemy of boosted charge damage can be even more important than actually hitting with the free attack (which you might get to do as well!). And if you get into their melee range, they cannot move away without incurring free strikes.

Using it for the alphastrike (running everyone up close, feat move, rip and tear) may only kill their front line; a properly spaced army will be able to avoid much of this tactic and eat yours in return, so be careful. It can also function as a higher-powered Overtake; save the feat for the turn after battlelines have clashed, then spend that turn pushing into their lines during your activation and later use the feat to take out troops behind the first wave. The final use is to help on the assassination run; keeping a focus to boost an feat attack roll against a high DEF 'caster is nice, but so is running up two 'jacks with Positive Charge on one and two focus each for boosted attack and damage feat attacks on the 'caster. Two Stormclads can do this for a 15” threat each, and you should only have to cast Positive Charge once. Rowdy can also substitute here; a boosted P+S 20 attack will destroy most 'casters, while MAT10 and a boosted attack roll generally means it'll hit just about anything.

But be careful. The feat is triggered during Stryker2's activation, but is resolved after all your models have activated. Then you get the 3" move and you only get one attack per model. Never count on scoring the killing blow using Stryker2's own feat attack. Save the assassination run for when you have a clear vector for several Overload-boosted attacks.

Spells
  • Deflection: Outstanding for helping everyone shrug off blast damage, and moves most of the Storm Knights to that critical point where 7s don't kill them from POW 10 attacks (like Cygnaran POW 10s). A great buff against the Cygnar mirror match - but frequently utterly pointless against Cryx.
  • Lightning Storm: Expensive, especially with Stryker's lack of Focus, you only cast it when you have a purpose. Like keeping Storm Knights almost completely safe from non-Reach troopers.
  • Positive Charge: The best spell on the list (yes, even better than Rebuke), this spell allows Stryker2 to sit back and support his army without having to angle for an assassination run every turn. A Stormclad under this spell will be the Avatar of Storms, while Stormblades and Silver Line Stormguard can do some serious damage. Sword Knights with a Flank buddy hit at elite MAT and P+S 12 with four damage dice on the charge! Positive Charge can be cast on a marshalled 'jack, which is the first reason you should consider an arc node for Stryker2 - nd it still helps massively even if your warjacks have as little melee game as a Sentinel.
  • Rebuke: Another wonderful spell that perfectly supports Storm infantry. Stormblades are fairly slow with an unimpressive threat range, but Stryker2 doesn't speed them up against enemy infantry; oh no. He slows the enemy to a crawl, ensuring that his troops can charge instead of being charged (something that generally doesn't happen outside of Haley lists). This is the second reason to consider an arc node with Stryker2. Also take a Squire - and even the reroll might not be enough.
  • Velocity:This spell is useful in two ways. The first is on the assassination run, giving Stryker2 a 17” threat with no outside assistance. He can charge a model without Reach, then Velocity around it to get to your real target. The second reason is for hit-and-runs; Stryker2 can operate as a scalpel, killing warjacks or important models that have breached your lines before heading back to safety.

Typical Strategy & Army Selection

Strategy - The Assassination Run (or why Stryker2 isn't invincible, and how to handle this problem)
A common conception of assassination casters is that they should be played with a bit more risk, where if the kill can be reasonably achieved the chance should be taken. Stryker2 is often compared to a homing missile, and the comparison is apt: he Overloads to gain additional STR, burns away his health in the process and goes on his assassination run; then it's game over - one way or another. Unfortunately, "or another" can happen with frustrating regularity. Any opponent worth a damn will stay as far way from Stryker2 as possible, so you'll probably be using Velocity from 17" away. That's up to three focus gone already, and he will usually need to boost his attack roll against most targets. You should never count on Stryker2 hitting more than two or three times at the max, so he really should Overload as high as possible to hit hard on the first swing. Don't bother camping focus, either - Stryker2's ARM and DEF are impressive but typically not enough to fend off a focus-or fury-fueled counterattack. Unlike Ashlynn D'Elyse, Stryker2 will usually not survive a pounding to disengage in the next round. With him, it is all or nothing.

To assassinate with Stryker2, you need to both guarantee his ability to reach the opposing 'caster and his ability to hit him hard. There are a few strategies to consider:

  • Save the feat for the assassination run:
    • His feat can be used to give Stryker2 one last attack at the end of his assassination run. (Note that he doesn't get this attack during his own activation, but after everyone else has activated)
    • This last attack will NOT be subject to any Overload bonus (because it's outside his activation), but his baseline P+S is still excellent and if the opposing 'caster is on death's doorstep it may make all the difference.
    • More importantly, should you feel the need to disengage (perhaps you were Overloading against a colossal/gargantuan and not the enemy 'caster?), you can put 3" between you and your target. Assuming you survive the free strike, that will give your other models an opportunity to swarm your opponent and block any charge lanes.

  • Use support models that increase mobility or help him hit harder:
    • A nightmare scenario for Stryker2 occurs when an opponent has both mobility-restricting capabilities (like Inhospitable Ground, or merely standing in a huge area of rough terrain) and Pathfinder. Stryker2 is largely neutered by having to cast Velocity just to get in range, while being left wide-open for a counter-assassination.
    • For this reason, Stryker2 should always have at least one model on call to either grant Pathfinder (Archduke Runewood) or accelerate his movement (Anastasia de Bray or Madelyn Corbeau are both excellent, but situational).
    • Lanyssa Ryssyll can provide one focus worth of extra charging distance as well as a nice benefit for any charging 'jacks. Gorman Di Wulfe's excellent Black Oil bomb will practically guarantee that Stryker2 hits with all of his attacks. Maneuvering him in may require some finesse, but Gorman can also serve as a high-value distraction.
    • Aiyana & Holt can provide an extra bit of insurance to a three dice Overload (which might be needed when facing an ARM 30+ Terminus or a Mulg beast brick), or add some teeth to a two dice Overload.
    • Ragman can provide some extra damage through ARM reduction, but might be a little tricky to get into range if the opposing warnoun is at the limit of Stryker's threat range.
    • Reinholdt's Lucky Charm ability can help his initial charge attack hit or just add extra oomph to the charge damage roll (though you should almost always use it on the attack roll, as Stryker2 doesn't usually have a problem dealing damage). Packing in all this support may not be feasible in small-point games, so be ready to send in a heavy warjack (preferably with Reach) or some hard-hitting troops to do the dirty work for him.

  • Beware of damage transfers:
    • Warlocks can transfer all your damage away. Even if Stryker2 hits them with a maxed-out P+S 33 hit and rolls a boosted three 6's for a whopping 51 points of damage before ARM, theycan transfer (almost) every single point of that damage onto a warbeast (although if it overkills the warbeast, the warlock will take the remaining 'spillover'). And they can keep doing this for as long as they have fury to spend and warbeasts with working Mind aspects and enough damage circles in his control area.
    • As such, asssassination runs against Hordes armies should not be considered unless one or more of the following conditions apply:
      • The enemy warlock has no fury. Swing away!
      • Counting the number of damage transfers they can make, Stryker2 can still deliver enough Overload-boosted hits to kill. For example: Kaya the Wildborne with a wounded Argus and one fury remaining may require only the charge attack to win, while Borka Kegslayer with three fury and a number of healthy ''beasts will almost certainly require a three dice Overload and a near-maximum amount of focus to eliminate.
      • All/most enemy warbeasts are dead or at/near their fury limit. This limits the total number of health boxes available for transferring and the number of transfers the warlock can make.
      • Stryker2 can reasonably inflict more damage than any one beast can receive from a transfer. For example, hitting Saeryn for 15 damage after ARM while the maximum amount of damage transferable to any 'beast in her control area is 10 damage results in five points of damage to her (per the rules on transferring damage).
      • ARM debuffs hurt warlocks a lot, both in terms of their own survivability and how much damage is transferred to their 'beasts. De/buffers like Aiyana & Holt and Ragman will help to maximize Stryker2's damage output on any assassination run.

Typical Army
Warjacks
A general rule of thumb with Stryker2 is to never take more than three warjacks, as he can't run them efficiently due to his low amount of focus and only buff for them being Positive Charge. A suggested layout for 50 points is
  • an arc node. A Lancer is the cheapest arc node, but Thorn can also be an extremely useful Positive Charge target thanks to Reaction Drive.
  • a Stormclad (for general beatstickery and free focus off of Stormblades),
  • and Ol' Rowdy (for Aggressive and its affinity).
  • but the Sentinel's Shield Guard is nice enough to warrant consideration
At 35 points, one of the heavies is typically dropped but the arc node stays.

Stryker2 doesn't want:
  • He has no way to speed up the Thunderhead, Centurion or Hammersmith, so they should generally be left out;
  • Ironclad = why? Rowdy does so much more.
  • Defenders are nice as ranged support, but you'll generally want them marshaled by the ATGM UA and at that point you may as well use a Hunter.
  • Chargers are focus hogs.
  • The colossals generally are focus-hogs and hang too far back to get into the fray - but there is a case for the Hurricane being your finisher and providing the arc node on one flank to give your other jacks Positive Charge.

Units
Stryker2 has no buffs for ranged units, so you'll really just end up taking what you like.
  • A unit of ATGM + UA or the Black 13th is typically an auto-include;
  • Trenchers or Long Gunners may not be worth it all that often.
  • Stormblades, Sword Knights, and Silver Line Stormguard will be the meat of your list; the former wrecks warjacks and the latter infantry, and with Positive Charge/Rebuke they can trade jobs if needed. The Stormblade UA suffers from a lack of ranged attack buffs (unless you take a nice-sized firing line and have Rangers), but can help extend the threat range of Stormblade Infantry.
  • Precursor Knights are also a decent choice as Stryker2 has no direct unit-affecting spells, but remember their minifeat applies only to their activation.
  • Storm Lances tend to move too fast to benefit from Positive Charge, so consider them an independent unit.
  • Trencher Commandos work very nicely with Stryker2's feat and Deflection.
  • Sword Knights are actually a decent idea with Stryker2, as you'll often be placing your 'jacks in range to trigger Flank and their other weakness of eating up buffs such as Arcane Shield is a non-issue due to Deflection. Hell, the Sword Knight UA marshalling a Positive Charge target like a Firefly might just be an awesome idea!

Solos
  • Take a Squire for the focus and reroll on an important Rebuke.
  • A Journeyman Warcaster is also great for Arcane Shield,
  • while Eiryss2 drops focus and upkeeps to support an assassination run.
  • Stormsmiths are always a good decision.
  • In addition, Lanyssa Ryssyll or Rhupert Carvolo should be strongly considered. The first lets your Stormblades get the pounce on enemy heavies along with free charges for your 'jacks, while the second is a must in any unit-heavy army.

Drawbacks & Downsides

If Stryker2 has taken any damage, Overloading with three dice is very, very risky.

Tricks & Tactics

  • First thing is when and where to use Positive Charge.
    • In general, units should be positioned around warjacks to make the most of this spell; somewhat of a blob with a hole in the front for the 'jacks to maneuver. Unless they are being charged your Positive Charged warjack will need to activate before your infantry, so make sure it has room to maneuver.
    • Deflection will help alleviate any collateral AOE damage suffered by this sort of blobbing, but don't be afraid to spread out if your opponent brings models with Berserk or Overtake.
    • Your infantry will have to be able to reform around your warjack after charging to protect it from counter attacks and keep your Positive Charge target healthy. Rebuke will help you split up your opponent's army if one cell starts to weaken.

  • One tricksy tactic against warlocks is to selectively deal damage to the warlock as a way of eliminating warbeasts that are in the way of your other troops.
    • This relies on your opponent acting predictably, but certain choices can be forced: Taking 15+ damage from an Overload attack or losing/crippling a warbeast is a tough choice, but one with a single likely outcome.
    • Crippling warbeasts in this manner may allow your other models to (somewhat) safely disengage from other combats or exploit newly-opened charge lanes to assist in the assassination.
    • This adds an element of board control to Stryker2's game plan that many Hordes players will not suspect until it is too late.

  • Overload is another ability that merits discussion.
    • If Stryker2 has taken any damage, Overloading with three dice is very, very risky.
    • If he has at 12 or more health, feel free to Overload using two dice.
    • If this turn is all-or-nothing, win now or lose next turn, and he really needs the extra STR, Overload with three at up to 13 health, two at up to 10 health, and one at up to 5 health, but be fully prepared to see him explode.
    • For general use, use three dice at full health, two at 11, and one at 6.
    • The Precursor UA can potentially allow him to Overload more than once per game due to being healed, but you should still only count on getting one big activation out of this ability.



Theme Force(s)


Stryker's theme Force: Charge of the Storm Brigade

Presented in Forces of Warmachine: Cygnar
A normal Lord Commander Stryker army may be made up of any options normally available to Cygnar. A theme or tier list is more restricted; the requirements to unlock the special abilities of the Charge of the Storm Brigade are as follows:
Warjacks
Units
Solos
Battle Engines
Cygnar non-character warjacks
Ol' Rowdy
Thunderhead
Field Mechaniks
Stormsmith Storm Tower
Storm Knight units
Squire
Storm Knight solos
None

##########
Requirement
Benefit
Tier 1
Army uses only models/units that are among those listed above.
Stormclads cost less and Storm Lances are FA 2.
Tier 2
You must field at least two Stormblade Infantry units
Free Stormblade UA
Tier 3
You must field Major Katherine Laddermore
Storm Lances are deployed late.
Tier 4
You must field at least two Stormclads.
Extended deployment zone.

Thoughts on Charge of the Storm Brigade

This army heavily focuses on Storm infantry and gives up a lot of support needed for Stryker2's assassination run. If you've got a spare unit of Stormblades and want to try a giant lightning-powered list, go for it.



Other


Trivia



merc_cygnar.jpg
###################
Cygnar Mercenary Index
Mercenary
Warcasters
Ashlynn D'Elyse - - Captain Bart - - Captain Damiano - - Drake MacBain - - Durgen Madhammer - - Fiona the Black - - Gorten Grundback - - Captain Damiano - - General Ossrum
Note: To field a mercenary warcaster with Cygnar, you need to be playing a game which allows 2 (or more) warcasters.
Mercenary
Warjacks
Different types of Mercenary warjacks can only be taken by specific Mercenary models ... which means there's too many permutations to list here (in any sort of meaningful way).

However, note that the following Cygnar mercenary models can control warjacks/warbeasts (in addition to the Mercenary Warcasters listed above):
Sam & the Devil Dogs - - Dirty Meg - - Raluk Moorclaw - - Rutger Shaw - - Thor Steinhammer - - Gastone Crosse


Mercenary
Units
High Shields & UA - - Horgenhold Artillery Corps - - Horgenhold Forge Guard - - Ogrun Assault Corps - - Press Gangers - - Sea Dog Boarding Crew & UA & WA - - Sea Dog Deck Gun Crew - - Steelhead Halberders - - Steelhead Heavy Cavalry - - Steelhead Riflemen - - Tactical Arcanist Corps
Alexia1 - - Blythe & Bull - - Nyss Hunters - - Boomhowlers - - Herne & Jonne - - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - - Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr - - Sam & the Devil Dogs
Mercenary
Solos
Gobber Tinker - - Ogrun Bokur
Alexia2 - - Alten Ashley - - Anastasia Di Bray - - Bloody Bradigan - - Bosun Grogspar - - Dirty Meg - - Doc Killingsworth - - Eiryss1 - - Eiryss2 - - First Mate Hawk - - Gorman Di Wulfe - - Gudrun the Wanderer - - Harlan Versh - - Hutchuck, Ogrun Bounty Hunter - - Lanyssa Ryssyll - - Lord Rockbottom - - Madelyn Corbeau - - Dougal MacNaile - - Reinholdt - - Rhupert Carvolo - - Ragman - - Raluk Moorclaw - - Rutger Shaw - - Savio Montero Acosta - - Sergeant Nicholas - - Stannis Brocker - - Taryn di la Rovissi - - Thor Steinhammer

Warcaster Attachment: Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Journeyman Warcaster: Gastone Crosse
Mercenary
Battle Engines
Hammerfall Siege Crawler

Or see: Cygnar Theme Forces

Rules Clarifications

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[Invalid Include: Page not found: RC Special Issue]

[Invalid Include: Page not found: RC Lightning Storm]